Fatigued Truck Driver Accidents in Indianapolis

One of the most dangerous things one could do on the road is drive while they are tired or sleepy. Unfortunately, this is way too common, especially among commercial truck drivers. Fatigued truck driver accidents in Indianapolis can cause immense harm and require you to file for damages to address medical bills.

Ask our determined truck accident attorneys for their insight into your claim.

The Dangers of Driving While Fatigued

Because truck drivers frequently drive for long distances and over long periods of time, they must be careful to avoid driver fatigue. A truck driver must always be alert while driving to the conditions of the roadway. Fatigue is one of the biggest factors behind trucks crashes; just as the average person may get tired once in a while when driving their car over a period of time, this can affect a truck driver on a daily basis. If a truck driver is overly tired, their reflexes and judgment will not be at a level necessary to safely drive and avoid an accident in Indianapolis.

Rules and Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) have very specific guidelines concerning the length of time a truck driver can be behind the wheel before having to take a mandatory break. Likewise, they also govern how much of a break is required in between long driving shifts. These regulations have been studied and are an attempt to minimize the amount of driver fatigue involved with truck drivers.

If a driver is found to have been driving when it should have been prohibited, this can be considered a major violation under the law, as well as under the internal regulations for trucking companies.

Truck drivers must keep detailed logs on the hours of service in which they operate. They must track the time that they are driving, the time they are resting, and any out-of-service hours. Even if a driver is operating within the prescribed timeframe, he or she may still be fatigued. In addition to violating the FMCSR, it is a different offense to drive a truck while fatigued in Indianapolis. It is much harder to prove that a driver is overworked if they are driving within the prescribed hours.

Woman slumped over tired in her car

Liability for a Crash

Both a trucking company and a truck driver can be held responsible for a fatigue-related crash. If a truck driver is feeling fatigued, then he or she has a responsibility to rest. The trucking company has its own independent responsibility to ensure the drivers are operating in a reasonably safe manner. If a company has reason to believe their driver is fatigued in a way that results in unsafe driving, it is responsible for taking the driver off the road to promote the safety of society.

Although an accident may involve a truck, it does not automatically mean it is the fault of the trucker. To be held legally responsible, a plaintiff must prove that the truck driver was negligent in some way; but sometimes, the truck driver is helpless to avoid a particular kind of incident.

For example, if a car strikes the rear of a truck, then there is nothing the truck driver could have done to prevent the accident, and fault will lie with the driver of the car. However, if the trucker contributes to an accident, they may be held jointly responsible, and a recovery may still be possible. Every case is different and depends on the unique facts of the accident. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be in the best position to advise someone of their rights following a crash.

Talk to an Indianapolis Attorney if You Were Struck by a Fatigued Truck Driver

Federal regulations exist for a reason, and the chances of a serious crash will increase if a driver is not properly rested. When a fatigued truck driver was the cause of your accident in Indianapolis, you need a professional to help with holding them accountable. Call us today and schedule a call with McCready Law.